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Nicklaus sees himself in Mickelson

Jack Nicklaus
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Jack Nicklaus watched Phil Mickelson’s win at Muirfield last week and thought it reminded him of someone.

“I give him great kudos for what he's done over the last couple weeks. I'm very happy for him. I know that for him to go win at the British Open as high as he hits the golf ball, like I was,” said Nicklaus, who won at Muirfield in 1966. “I won at Muirfield and I was a high ball hitter and people said, ‘Jack will never win, particularly Muirfield. ‘It's a golf course he can't play.’

“And I proved them all wrong there by being a little smarter than some of the other guys on that particular week. I didn't use a driver very much.”

Nicklaus credited Mickelson’s ability to adapt as a major reason why he now has a claret jug in his trophy collection.

“I think that his ability to see that he needed to adapt himself to the Scottish conditions was much to his credit,” he said. “Phil has always tried to take his game and play his game and put it on a golf course, and that doesn't always work. And here he is into his 40s and he's finally realizing that driver did not have to [come] out of the bag.”

“He found that he is a good enough player, matter of fact, a terrific player that doesn't need to hit it 10 miles. He can hit it into the fairway somewhere and play like everybody should want to play and be successful.”